Turning Wax into Silver

Making sterling silver cufflinks from wax patterns designed in 3D Systems’ Geomagic Design Direct printed on the 3D Systems ProJet® 3510 CPX


Combine creative people and unlimited technology, and anything can happen. That’s what we advocate and live at 3D Systems. Since we’ve got both creativity and technology in house, when projects come along, we like to see for ourselves just how far we can go. So when a request came for some 3D Systems cufflinks, we went to work.

Our training specialist, Lu McCarty took on the project, utilizing 3D Systems software and hardware, along with some friends in the jewelry business, to see this project from concept to manufacturing. What makes this story so nice is that it parallels the manufacturing process that a jeweler might use everyday, and it shows the power of 3D design and 3D printing technology to supercharge that process.

The request came on August 3, 2013, when Senior Director of Functional Design Scott Summit sent out an internal request: “Does anyone have any 3D Systems cufflinks? I’m going to a black tie dinner.”

Lu began work on the project shortly thereafter, creating a design using a combination of Geomagic® Design Direct, a comprehensive reverse engineering and direct modeling CAD package, and Geomagic Wrap®, which transforms point cloud data into 3D polygon meshes. When it came time to print, he used the ProJet® 3510 HD Max for prototyping and the ProJet® 3510 CPX for printing wax casting patterns. Here’s how he got to the final product.